There's spicy and then there is málà—the characteristic flavor of Chongqing, Jia Liang’s hometown in China’s Sichuan region. Now living here on the other side of the Pacific, Jia is the founder of Hot Pot Queen, the Spokane-based brand that’s bringing the málà to us all, in the form of Sichuan-style chili sauces and hot pot fixings.
It all started back in 1982, five months after Jia was born, when her mother opened Little Swan, a small hotpot restaurant in the heart of Chongqing that struggled to fit three tables. In this little eatery, the "Yuan Yang" mala hotpot had its beginning and ultimately went on to become an icon of Sichuan cuisine—from which Jia’s mother built her legacy as the "Queen of Hotpot."
The Hotpot Queen has kept it spicy for more than forty years. Now, her daughter is on a mission to honor her mother the Queen, and to bring "the Biggest, Boldest Sichuan Flavors in the World" to everyone's kitchen. And we’re here for it.